Stokes will speak out on in­ci­dent ‘at right time’

Sunderland Echo - - Sport -

Ben Stokes will of­fer a full ex­pla­na­tion of the in­ci­dent in Bris­tol last month which could cost him his Ashes place “when the time is right”.

The Eng­land all-rounder, 26, was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of ac­tual bod­ily harm fol­low­ing a dis­tur­bance out­side a night­club in the city on Septem­ber 25.

He will not travel to Aus­tralia with the rest of the Eng­land squad for this win­ter’s Ashes se­ries as he waits to learn whether he will face crim­i­nal charges. He has not yet been ruled out of the five-Test se­ries.

Neil Fair­brother, Stokes’s agent, said the Durham player would dis­cuss his ver­sion of events in due course, but did not wish to prej­u­dice the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Fair­brother said: “Ben ex­plained to me the full cir­cum­stances of what hap­pened in Bris­tol and I told him that he has my to­tal sup­port and back­ing.

“I am aware that he has fully co-op­er­ated with the po­lice in­quiry and vol­un­tar­ily pro­vided a de­tailed state­ment on the same day as the in­ci­dent. He will con­tinue to as­sist the po­lice in any way he can.

“Ben will also make pub­lic his full ex­pla­na­tion and ev­i­dence when the time is right. On le­gal ad­vice, that is not pos­si­ble whilst the in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ues and no charges have been brought forward. Ben does not wish to prej­u­dice the process.

“He is also con­cerned about the im­pact the wide­spread pub­lic­ity has on ev­ery­one in­volved in­clud­ing the ECB, his team­mates and the game of cricket it­self which he loves.

“We will not be mak­ing any fur­ther com­ment re­lat­ing to this at this time.”

Jour­nal­ist and TV pre­sen­ter Piers Mor­gan, a celebrity ac­quain­tance of sev­eral crick­eters, claimed last month that the al­leged fight oc­curred af­ter Stokes and in­ter­na­tional team­mate Alex Hales had de­fended two gay men from ho­mo­pho­bic abuse.

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